interaction, their language changes
quite rapidly. After only a few hundred
years, they may no longer understand
each other. A likely reason for PNG’s
many languages is its rugged mountain
ranges—groups living only a few miles
apart “as the crow flies” may have had no
interaction for centuries.
Modern Dutch, German, and English
(and Scandinavian languages) are
very obviously related (see Table 1).
This shows they came from a common
source; going backward in time, they
are closer to each other.
13 That’s why,
visiting a centuries-old Dutch cemetery
in Melaka, Malaysia, my German-English background enabled me to
understand almost everything written on
the tombstones, whereas I can decipher
only a much smaller percentage of
modern Dutch text. The changes in these
languages were rapid and substantial.
French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian,
and Romanian are also an obviously
related group that has diverged from
a “common ancestor” language. But
are they completely separate from the
Germanic group discussed earlier? No.
The evidence in Table 2 shows that
many such groups can in turn be “joined
together” going backward, forming one
large related “language family” called
“Indo-European,” which would have
started off as one language.
It would suit evolutionary ideas,
of course, if languages could all be
traced back to one language. But the
evidence supports Genesis, not language
evolution. There are in all some twenty
or fewer language families such as Indo-
European—e.g., the family of Asiatic
languages, including Chinese, Korean,
and Japanese. None of these shows
any sign of being related to any other.
In short, there is no “tree of language”
with one stem but rather a mini-orchard
of language families. The stem of
each tree is one of the original totally
separate languages created at Babel,
so it’s no wonder that the tips of the
branches in each “family tree” (today’s
languages within any one family) show
no connection at all to those of any of
the other trees. Once again, we see that
relying on Genesis history makes sense
of the evidence in the real world.
Dr. Carl Wieland is the Managing Director
of Creation Ministries International (CMI)
in Brisbane, Australia. Originally a medical
doctor, he has headed the Australian Creation ministry for more than twenty years.
A well-known speaker and writer on Creation issues, he also served as a director of
one of the largest Creation organizations in
the USA while it was still a part of the same
grouping. CMI currently consists of seven
international affiliates, including an office in
Atlanta. The Creation magazine he founded now reaches subscribers in more than
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76 Winter 2010/11 l Real Science
140 countries. See CMI’s website, creation
1. At the time of writing, one of the leading
researchers claiming to show “human-like”
features in animals, Harvard Professor
Marc Hauser, is being investigated for
“irregularities” in his data, which cast a
shadow over all of his work—see “Harvard
star in misconduct probe over monkey minds,”
New Scientist, 21 August, 2010, p. 14.
3. Science News, Vol. 149 No. 3, January 20,
1996, pp. 42–43.
6. In English, “The cat has bitten the dog” is
the proper syntax or word order, whereas
in German, it would be “The cat has the dog
7. German and English.
8. Note that when the periosteum is left intact,
ribs routinely regenerate; Adam did not have to
walk around with a defective ribcage. See the
booklet Adam’s Rib: Creation and the Human
9. That does not mean that God is not involved
when things occur “naturally,” but it does not
involve the extraordinary operation of God as in
miracles like raising the dead, and creation itself.
10. The rare and tragic cases of truly “feral”
children, those only ever having interaction
with wild animals rather than humans, show the
need for human contact to develop language. If
left for too many years before being reclaimed
by society, they may never learn to speak.
11.Some have speculated that the original
language was Hebrew, but we can’t know for
certain what it was or whether it even survived
the Babel event. Even if it did, languages can
12. This provides an obvious answer to the Bible
critic’s claim that Adam could not have known
what death was when God warned him of it.
It is also relevant to any discussion of Adam
naming some (not all) of the kinds (not species)
of creatures as God brought them to him.
13. Globalization and television operate to oppose
this by moving languages closer together again
but in a different way—e.g., since WW2,
hundreds of English words have found their
way into the German language.